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Policies and Procedures

Wayne G. Basler Library Policy and Procedures

Reference Assistance – By Telephone

The Wayne G. Basler Library does not maintain a separate telephone reference department. The Librarian on reference duty provides limited telephone reference assistance with the understanding that needs of the in-house library patrons are first priority. Every attempt is made to provide the requested information within a reasonable amount of time.

Requests that would require extensive searching or an inordinate amount of time to fulfill are handled with the suggestion that the Librarian take the patron’s contact information and research the information and call the requester back or that the requester come to the library in person to pursue the information need.

Legal, Medical, and Tax information is not interpreted for callers.

Procedure

Ready Reference

Ready reference is a term describing a reference transaction that consists of a simple, uncomplicated request that can be answered quickly with a brief reply. An example would be a request for a telephone number or zip code.

  1. Answer the telephone using a phrase such as: “This is the Reference Desk,” give your name and offer your assistance using a phrase such as, “How may I help you?”
  2. Actively listen to the request, making notes if necessary.
  3. Clarify the request by repeating it back to the caller if necessary.
  4. Find the requested information.
  5. Return to the caller and provide the requested information and its source.
  6. Close the transaction by asking if further information is desired.

Reference

  1. Answer the telephone as described above.
  2. Actively listen to the user’s request making notes if necessary.
  3. Proceed with a reference interview to find out what information is needed, translate the request into library terms, and decide the amount, format, and scholastic level of materials needed.
  4. If the request will take an extended amount of time, ask for the caller’s name and telephone number in order to call back with the information and citation.
  5. Call back as quickly as possible, providing the information and citation.
  6. Contact the caller if the question remains unanswered at day’s end to assure him/her that the search is continuing.
  7. When the information requested is too complicated or too lengthy to read over the telephone, tell the caller that the information will be held for him/her at the Reference Desk. Use professional judgment.
  8. If the information requested is not available within the Wayne G. Basler Library, suggest one of three options:
    1. The patron may use other local library materials. Circulating books from our local library consortium may be requested through the library catalog by logging into the patron account and entering the request. Library staff may also assist in placing the request. The materials will be routed via courier to Northeast State and the patron will be notified when the materials arrive. Book routing can be as short as 2-3 days and as long as 2 weeks.
    2. The patron may also drive to a local library to use materials.
    3. The patron may also choose to use Interlibrary loan, which is available to all Northeast State patrons. There is usually no charge to students for ILL services but all other patrons will be responsible for any institutional charges for items that cannot be loaned freely. Patrons may place requests in person or through the Library website.
  9. Close the telephone reference transaction by asking the caller if further assistance is desired.
  10. Log the reference transaction into the "Reference Analytics" section of the LibAnswers platform, providing as much information about the request as possible.

Materials Request

  1. Answer the telephone as described above.
  2. Actively listen to the user’s request making notes if necessary.
  3. Check the catalog for the materials requested.
  4. If the material is owned, inform the caller as to the availability according to the library catalog.
  5. If the information requested is not available within the Wayne G. Basler Library, suggest one of three options:
    1. The user may use other local library materials. Circulating books from our local library consortium may be requested through the library catalog by logging into the patron account and entering the request. Library staff may also assist in placing the request. The materials will be routed via courier to Northeast State. The patron will be notified when the materials arrive. Book routing can be as short as 2-3 days and as long as 2 weeks.
    2. The patron may also drive to a local library to use materials. 
    3. The patron may also choose to use Interlibrary loan. All Northeast State patrons may use Interlibrary loan. There is usually no charge to students for ILL services but all other patrons will be responsible for any institutional charges for items that cannot be loaned freely. Patrons may place requests in person or through the Library website.
  6. A reasonable limit is placed on the number of titles requested per telephone call based on staffing and in-house library user demand. If the request is for a subject rather than a particular title, the librarian’s professional judgment is used to determine the length of the search.
  7. Log the reference transaction into the "Reference Analytics" section of the LibAnswers platform, providing as much information about the request as possible.